Northwest NEWS

June 17, 2002

Local News

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Train derails at Woodinville trestle

by Jeanette Knutson
   Staff Writer
   City of Woodinville Public Works Director Mick Monken responded posthaste to a call from the contractor for the Northeast 177th Street road improvements.
   There'd been a train derailment on the elevated section of railway near the intersection of State Route 202 and Northeast 177th Place.
   Monken was the first on-scene manager at last Thursday's Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) freight car derailment, which left one car on its side, two others off the tracks.
   Monken called 911, contacted BNSF who owns the train, and consulted with Woodinville Fire and Life Safety and the King County Sheriff's Office to secure the scene.
   Woodinville fire personnel responded in an "organizational/troubleshooting capacity," said Deputy Fire Chief Ed Nelson.
   They determined early on there were no injuries. There were no hazardous materials involved.
   "The derailment did not require any ladder trucks, aid units or fire trucks," said Nelson.
   According to Sgt. Greg Dymerski, spokesman for King County Sheriff's Office, police acted in an advisory position, as well.
   Chief of Police Services for the City of Woodinville Sgt. Ken Wardstrom said his officers responded and assisted the city's Public Works Department.
   "There was no immediate threat to citizens or property. There was no need for traffic control. The Public Works Department had it under control," said Wardstrom.
   According to the City of Woodinville Communications Coordinator Marie Stake, the Splash & Dash carwash at 13001 NE 177th Place was closed approximately three and a half hours since one cargo container was slightly tilted in the direction of the carwash. The gas line to the carwash was shut off as a precautionary safety measure.
   Burlington Northern's Seattle spokesman Gus Melonas described the derailment as a "low-speed incident."
   "The train was going less than 5 miles per hour," Melonas said.
   He also said last Thursday's high temperatures had nothing to do with the derailment.
   BNSF hired local wrecking equipment to re-rail the cars, said Melonas.
   "There was no spillage of any material - lumber or pipes," he said.
   Company onsite investigators worked the scene last Friday morning. Damage estimates and the cause for derailment are not yet known.
   Track crews made minor repairs, which were complete by Friday afternoon.
   Spokeswoman Sara Shaffer for the Spirit of Washington dinner train, which was affected by the derailment, said, "The train could not make its scheduled stop at the Columbia Winery last Thursday. But it did stop at the (neighboring) Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery."
   Main rail lines were open Thursday. The spur line on which the derailment took place opened late Friday afternoon.